Yesterday was day two of the Spoonie Yoga challenge and it was a struggle for me. Sometimes yoga is just a mirror for the s**t I am bringing to my life and its stuck places. And who wants a s**t mirror? Living with a chronic is rough. To state the obvious, chronic pain can make you freaking sad. It can make otherwise tricky things (moving, a job search, finding your socks) excruciating. Lately I’m burnt out on things being up in the air and have been feeling really stuck. There is a lot that is external to me in these situations and so damn many choices for me to make.
I started my practice yesterday with the goal of helping to support my lymphatic system. I have really bad Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and yoga helps to keep my lymphatic system moving better than it would otherwise, making me less prone to attack. As I began, I was filled with self- doubt: I must be doing the practice wrong! Here’s the thing, if I am breathing and in the asana safely, there isn’t a “wrong” way to have a practice. But I didn’t know that yesterday. Yesterday I was sure that I was not doing the right poses, not holding them long enough, and my order must be all wrong. I wasn’t able to trust that I was listening to and responding to my body. I wasn’t able to trust myself.
And there’s the s**t. This is the mirror that yoga held up to my situation. Through all the decisions, transitions, and turmoil as of late, I have to make an abundance of difficult decisions and I had lost my ability to trust that I can listen to myself and respond with the wisdom that the situation needs. This epiphany, of course, does not give me back some slightly eroded confidence, but by having time and space where nothing was happening that I did not bring to the situation, I could more clearly see where there were some sources of power in my otherwise very situational stuck places. I lack self trust. This mirror is part of why I sometimes avoid yoga. When I am stressed and overwhelmed, I check out a bit. I have the misguided logic that if I feel less I will also feel less overwhelmed. The result is, unsurprisingly, that I just don’t feel as grounded or as centred in myself or my decisions.
If you are approaching a yoga (or other self care or spiritual) practice today, what might be holding you back? Are you feeling a bit numb and the practice would open the door to the feelings underneath? Are you so overwhelmed by the external that facing the internal begins to feel like yet another thing to do? I really understand. I will also offer this: when we are less numb we are better equipped… you have the wisdom inside you to support you in doing the thing.